It’s not difficult to put smiles on the faces of kids. For instance, take the case of 42-year-old Herbert Thomas, who’s down from Germany as part of the international Clowns Without Borders (CWB) organisation. Otherwise a practising lawyer, Thomas and his team of clowns that comprise professional actors, dancers, and a musician are in Mumbai till March 8, conducting workshops for children at the Acorn Foundation in Dharavi, and for SOS Children’s Villages in Alibaug.
“We founded the German group six years ago and we want to bring joy to children in need. We focus on areas facing natural disasters, poverty, war and civil riots,” Thomas says, adding, “The basic message we convey is that they’re not forgotten. We hope they get more self-esteem after our workshops.” So, what’s on the agenda for Thomas and his troupe here? “We’ll teach the children juggling, we’ll sing songs and play a lot of games,” he says.
Since CWB is an international non-profit organisation present in multiple countries including the US, Spain and South Africa, there are many projects working simultaneously across the world. Before travelling to India, CWB Germany visited Georgia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
What has the response been like? “We’ve got so much positive feedback. It’s extremely rewarding to perform for the children, even if it means paying out of our own pockets to do so,” Thomas says, adding, “This trip to India was completely self-planned and managed. But we got tremendous support right from the beginning from the German Embassy and the Acorn Foundation.”
For more information, visit http://www.clownsohnegrenzen.org